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Thursday, December 22nd, 2011
9:41 am
90) Julian Comstock, Robert Charles Wilson

Near-future (late 22nd century), but reads to me like alternate history. Society as we know it has collapsed -- the oil ran out, there was disease, etc. In the aftermath, the US apparently took over Canada, and conservative religion pretty much took over the government. The Presidency is semi-hereditary, term limits are a thing of the past, and technology is mostly gone. This is the story of a young man from the current ruling family, told by his commoner friend, as he tries to survive and subvert his uncle's reign. It's long, and I ended up taking a break from it a couple of times to read other works, but it's well-told. It was up for the Hugo in 2010.

91) Mansfield Park, Jane Austen, via LibriVox

It's Jane Austen. There's family drama, class contrasts, and romance. Since I hadn't read it before, I will refrain from spoilery summaries in case you haven't either. As I was approaching the end, I wondered how all those loose ends were going to get wrapped up; they did.

92) Blue Christmas, Mary Kay Andrews

Technically a novella, according to the afterword, but I'm counting it anyway. It's over 200 pages and has chapters. It's a Christmas tale following Savannah Blues and Savannah Breeze, but no one dies in this one. There's a bit of a mystery, but mostly it's just another chapter in the lives of the characters from the two novels. If you like light Southern mysteries, you';; probably like the novels; if you like them, you'll probably enjoy this, too.

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Thursday, December 15th, 2011
2:39 pm
I'm so behind on book logging...

?.60) Esther
?.61) Ezra (for real)
?.62) Nehemiah
?.63) Malachi

All I have left are the ends of Job, Revelation, and Psalms.

I realized I mostly haven't noted the audiobooks I listened to at home while cleaning, etc.; these will be in the order I come to them scrolling down my LibraryThing list, not the order read. It's possible one or two were actually from late last year, but mostly this year; it's also possible I skipped over some I think were last year which were actually this year, so it should balance out.

76) City of Bones, Michael Connelly

It's a police procedural. Entertaining enough, not a series I'm going to go devour.

77) Lost Light, Michael Connelly

Same series as the previous, but not the main character is retired, so he's playing by slightly different rules.

78) Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis

What Christianity means to Lewis. Mostly, I agree with his view, though there are places I'd quibble, and places where his cultural context shows.

79) Possible Side Effects, Augusten Burroughs

If you like David Sedaris, you'll probably like this.

80) The March, E.L. Doctorow

Civil War, particularly Sherman's March returning north. Maybe the first novel I've read from the Yankee POV -- not that I've read a lot of Civil War novels.

81) Act of Treason, Vince Flynn

Spy / suspense novel.

82) The Summons, John Grisham

Tried to read Grisham years ago, and bounced off. This wasn't bad. Southern family / legal drama.

83) Salem's Lot, Stephen King

Vampires. No sparkling.

84) The God of Animals, Aryn Kyle

Family drama

85) Light in Shadow, Jayne Ann Krentz

A psychometric interior designer, a couple of murders to solve, and a romance plot.

86) Ten Big Ones, Janet Evanovich

A Stephanie Plum novel. They are what they are, I guess; this was my first one.

87) Lisey's Story, Stephen King

Interesting parallel-reality novel of a widow being stalked by a crazed fan or her late husband.

88) The Colorado Kid, Stephen King

More a novella-length work, I think. Two old newspapermen filling the young intern in on the real local mystery.

89) The Ghost, Robert Harris

Political suspense / crime

I think that's all...

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Monday, November 21st, 2011
9:33 am
?.53) Daniel
?.54) John
?.55) Haggai

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Friday, November 18th, 2011
9:34 am
74) A Dance with Dragons, via Audible

Martin does what he does. While this is the same reader as three of the previous four books, he bugged me a lot more in this one than I recall he doing in the past. Little to no verbal distinction betweens what a character though and what a character said, some characters voices were horrid, he pronunciation of "Unsullied" sounds like "Unsolid", "loyal" turned into "leel", and I need to flip through a printed copy to figure out what he was actually saying in a couple of places -- I'm fairly sure he didn't call "Abel the bard" a panda....

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Tuesday, November 15th, 2011
5:59 pm
?.52) Ezekiel

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Tuesday, October 25th, 2011
2:09 pm
73) Aphrodite's Kiss, by Julie Kenner

Light paranormal romance. If that's not your usual cup of tea, there are others with more crossover appeal; I picked up this series because I have enjoyed her other works, like the Demon Hunting Soccer Mom books. I didn't dislike this at all -- it was a delightful break from some heavier reading -- but it didn't really stand out, either.

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Friday, October 21st, 2011
12:51 pm
?.50) Jeremiah
?.51) 2 Peter

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Tuesday, October 18th, 2011
1:22 pm
?.48) Obadiah
?.49) 1 Peter

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Friday, October 14th, 2011
12:58 pm
?.45) 2 Kings
?.46) 2 Chronicles
?.47) Lamentations

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Wednesday, October 12th, 2011
12:56 pm
Neglected to update a few:

?.42) Zephaniah
?.43) 2 Corinthians
?.44) James

Fiction-wise, I'm in the midst of a few longer books, thus no updates.

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Monday, October 3rd, 2011
9:50 am
72) Startide Rising, by David Brin, via Audible

Part of my ongoing "read the Hugo winners" project. It was OK, but I didn't love it. Might've worked a little better in print; I think some of the names that were a little too similar in audio may have been spelled differently enough to be less confusing.

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Tuesday, September 27th, 2011
3:19 pm
?.41) Habakkuk

And one I accidentally left off the previous post:

71) Beguilement (The Sharing Knife, v1), by Lois McMaster Bujold (ebook)

I enjoyed it. It held my attention. And yet, thinking back, not much actually _happened_. There was one big fight and one major life event, but clearly this is the beginning of the larger tale; it doesn't have an overall plot and resolution of it's own. The age difference between the male and female leads would squick me in real life, but I accept more in fiction, so it didn't bother me so much. I'll most likely keep going with the series, but I haven't picked up the next one yet. Unlike print books, I don't worry much about ebooks going out of print or becoming impossible to lay hands on, so I'm in less of a hurry, and I have a bit of a backlog I want to read from. (not too much, as I was not a big early adopter, but past Hugo packets and such.)

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Monday, September 26th, 2011
3:33 pm
70) [reread] A Wrinkle In Time, by Madeline L'Engle, on CD, read by the author

Found it on the used table at Readers, Inc. a while back, and I like to listen to audiobooks on CD while I do housework. It had been decades since I last read this; it was nice to revisit.

?.40) Nahum

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Thursday, September 22nd, 2011
7:02 pm
?.39) Isaiah

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Wednesday, September 21st, 2011
1:50 pm
?.38) 1 Corinthians

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Tuesday, September 20th, 2011
5:09 pm
69) One Salt Sea, by seanan_mcguire

Yay for Toby books! 5th in the series; if you haven't read them, start with Rosemary and Rue; I'll try not to be spoilery here.

I don't like plot-summary reviews, because they're always a little spoilery, so I'll just say that that was NOT how I expected the particular interpersonal situation to resolve. Gracious. Seanan, is your middle name Joss? :P

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Wednesday, September 14th, 2011
11:22 am
68) Spellwright, by Blake Charlton

Didn't like this one as much as I'd expected; I just couldn't really get into it for some reason. Too much angst, maybe? I probably won't pick up the sequel.

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Tuesday, September 6th, 2011
5:37 pm
67) Cannery Row by John Steinbeck, via Audible

Every time I take the coastal route north, I feel like I should read some Steinbeck. I meant to listen to this on the way to and / or from Westercon, but forgot to load it on my ipod. It wasn't bad, but I prefer books with plot.

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Wednesday, August 31st, 2011
2:56 pm
?.37) Matthew

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Thursday, August 25th, 2011
9:09 am
66) Feynman, by Jim Ottaviani and Leland Myrick

I'm a bit overdue in posting this; Worldcon ate my brain and my time. This is a new graphic-biography of Richard Feynman, written by the always-great Jim Ottaviani, and drawn by Leland Myrick. Because I've read Feynman and Feynman bios in the past, the broad strokes were familiar to me, but I learned new info, too. It's a mostly-chronological (but sometimes thematic) overview of his life and achievements from childhood on, including highlights from several of his lectures. I understand Feynman diagrams much better now than I did before!

I was lucky enough to read an early copy; it releases Aug. 30th. Check your local independent comic shop or bookstore, or order online!

Update: tor.com is posting excerpts here: http://www.tor.com/stories/2011/08/the-five-faces-of-feynman

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Monday, August 15th, 2011
12:32 pm
65) The Broken Kingdoms, by N.K. Jemisin

It took me a little longer to get really in to this one than it did the first one, I think because I don't really like knowing big things that the POV character doesn't, because it's harder for me to identify with that character then. (I'm not sure "identify with" is quite the right phrase, but especially in first-person narratives, I need to put on the character a bit like putting on a role in a play, or something. It's hard to explain, but I can't do it when I know the Big Important Secret and the character is mystified by it.) Once she learned that thing, or enough that she could possibly have figured it out, it was easier for me; I stopped feeling like I was reading in the wrong order.

This happens 10 years after the previous book, and deals with the consequences of the ending of that book. The most-purely-evil people are also deluded madmen who believe they are serving their god. I don't want to get too specific, for fear of spoilers.

As a side note, N.K. Jemisin is also the author of my second-favorite favorite short story so far this year: Sinners, Saints, Dragons, and Haints, in the City Under the Still Waters. Recommended listening. (My favorite so far is Mama, We are Zhenya, Your Son which does amazing things with quantum existence. Read it.)

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Thursday, August 11th, 2011
5:42 pm
There's a potential anti-viral in tests, which targets RNA. There's a potential treatment for at least one kind of cancer in tests, which is based in part on HIV. Am I the only one who read _Feed_ and is now very afraid? :)

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Wednesday, August 10th, 2011
4:13 pm
?.35) Micah
?.36) Hosea

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Monday, August 8th, 2011
4:25 pm
64) The Magicians, by Lev Grossman

Darker and grittier than Harry Potter, by quite a lot. Not comfortable in places, but I know people who went through similar burn-out after school; just didn't know how to deal with the outside world. I think I need to see where the story goes before I can decide whether I like it or not; I'll be reading the sequel after I finish The Broken Kingdoms, I think.

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Friday, August 5th, 2011
12:33 pm
?.34) Amos

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Thursday, August 4th, 2011
4:40 pm
63) Hominids, by Robert J. Sawyer, via Audible

I was not impressed. Too much heavy-handed philosophy lecturing, too much them-good / us-bad, and they never thought to use a key piece of evidence in the defense in the trial, apparently. Kind of surprised it won the Hugo, frankly.

ETA: Also, not sure how I managed to forget to mention this initially, but there's a semi-graphic rape scene fairly early on that feels gratuitous to me. Its main role in the novel seems to be so that the female victim will not pair off with the visitor from the parallel world, with a secondary role being yet another example of how awful our society is compared to theirs.

(I created a DW account a while back to snag my name. Given LJ's recent Issues, I decided to import my entries to DW as a backup, and it's easier to xpost DW->LJ than vice versa. If you want to actually keep up with me, FB is where I post and read most, though I still read some people on LJ occasionally.)

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Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011
10:13 am
62) All Clear

Now that I've read both halves, I can comment on the work as a whole. I have to say that I did not like it as much as I was expecting to, based on past experience reading Willis and on reviews from other readers. It just seemed too long, too slow to me. This is 100% a matter of personal taste, and I might like / have liked it better reading at another time, even. I don't want to get too specific for those who haven't read them, but I wasn't crazy about the time travel theory element, either.

Which is not to say it's a bad book, but, of her novels, I prefer Passage, and I think she really shines brightest as a short story writer.

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Monday, August 1st, 2011
1:28 pm
?.31) Joel
?.32) Jonah

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Friday, July 29th, 2011
9:10 am - Return of the Book Log!
59) The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, by N.K. Jemisin

Wow. I'm not going to have time to read the full text of all the Best Novel nominees before the deadline, or the novel-length works for the Campbell nominees, so my plan was to do more-or-less what I did last year -- read the first three or so chapters of each and decide on that basis. (Although it's not really possible to judge Connie Willis that way; I'll read as much as I can over the next couple of days and then decide, I guess.) Anyway, I had to tear myself away from this one, so once I'd had a taste of the others, I came back and devoured the rest of it -- SDCC lines are great for reading, and the phone's a lot easier to wrangle than a hardcopy.

This is a story of family, politics, gods, and power. I don't think I can write about it in a way that will do it justice. You can read the first three chapters on the author's website; if that grabs you the way it grabbed me, you'll want to keep going. This isn't a thousand-page behemoth of an epic fantasy; I found it a fairly quick read. I've picked up the second as a ebook, but I won't start it until I finish my Hugo ballot.

60) Forever Peace, by Joe Haldeman, via Audible

I didn't like this as much as The Forever War. It seemed confused about itself, what kind of story it wanted to be, etc., and I found it hard to get in to. It won a Hugo, so clearly some people liked it, but it didn't quite work for me.

61) Blackout, by Connie Willis

Now reading All Clear, which is the second half of the story. If you like Connie Willis historian novels, this is the kind of thing you'll like. If you haven't read any of the preceding ones, I suggest starting with a shorter piece -- the novelette "Fire Watch" or the novel Doomsday Book, perhaps.

Went ahead and submitted my Hugo Ballot last night; if I change my mind over the next couple of days, I can resubmit, but at least I won't forget this way, and I probably won't change my mind.

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Tuesday, July 19th, 2011
2:24 pm
?.30) 1 Kings

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Thursday, July 14th, 2011
1:21 pm
?.29) Philemon

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Wednesday, July 13th, 2011
1:28 pm
?.28) Titus

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Monday, July 11th, 2011
12:59 pm
?.26) Ecclesiastes
?.27) 2 Timothy

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Thursday, July 7th, 2011
12:51 pm
?.25) 1 Timothy

I've been working through the short fiction Hugo nominees and catching up on podcasts, thus no recent entries for longer works of fiction. Lots and lots of short stories, plus novelettes and novellas.

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Friday, June 24th, 2011
1:03 pm
?.24) 2 Thessalonians

It's only three chapters -- books like this are why I'm not counting each book as a stand-along book in this reckoning.

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Thursday, June 23rd, 2011
1:31 pm
?.23) Song of Solomon

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Tuesday, June 21st, 2011
3:23 pm
?.22) 1 Thessalonians

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Monday, June 20th, 2011
1:36 pm
?.21) Proverbs

58) Perpetual Light, ed. Alan Ryman

A collection of SF/F stories with religious themes. ozarque's was my favorite.

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Tuesday, June 14th, 2011
1:29 pm
?.20) Romans

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Friday, June 10th, 2011
4:30 pm
57) Sundiver, by David Brin, via Audible

Although this was not a Hugo winner, the sequels were, so I started here as part of my ongoing read-the-Hugo-winners project. Terrans and ETs based on Mercury exploring the sun; intrigue and murder follow. Who did it, and why?

58) Feed, Mira Grant

Bloggers in the press pool for a Presidential candidate, in a post-zombie-apocalypse world. It's well written, but it's still a zombie book, and I still don't like zombies. I haven't decided whether I want to pick up the sequel; I probably will in the end, because it did hold my attention and grab me enough to keep me reading. But...zombies. ALso, a Hugo nominee this year.

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Tuesday, June 7th, 2011
1:26 pm
?.19) 1 Chronicles

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Monday, June 6th, 2011
1:42 pm
?.18) 2 Samuel

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Thursday, June 2nd, 2011
4:48 pm
?.17) Acts

Between illness and travel, I've gotten behind, but should be able to catch up by reading two sections a day for a while.

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Wednesday, May 25th, 2011
1:03 pm - book logging is hard
51) Armadale, Wilkie Collins, LibriVox

Long. Felt _too_ long. Are the sons fated to replay the sins of the fathers?

52) Infernal Devices, K.W. Jeter

Really enjoyed this. One of the early first-wave steampunk classics, now reprinted. Our protagonist is swept up in events he does not understand, but is nonetheless the key to, thanks to his genius-clockmaker father's plotting.

53) A Slepyng Hound to Wake, Vincent McCaffrey

ARC, sequel to Hound, out in July.
I think Hound was a stronger book overall. This one seemed a little less focused, with a less of a cohesive theme. Henry buys a book from his acquaintance Eddy Perry, a sometimes bookhound, sometimes druggie, who is then murdered, possibly for the money Henry just paid him. Among Eddy'd possessions, Henry finds the manuscript for his finished novel, which he then decides to try to get published. He has to track down the woman to whom it's dedicated, but the tracking happens entirely offstage, and this plotline is ignored for a good chunk of the book. Meanwhile, Henry is forced to confront his relationships with the various women in his life, as they all make demands upon him. Like and good fictional hero, Henry pulls out solutions to all their problems, more or less, almost accidentally, while Albert again fills the wise / wise-cracking friend role.

54) Tomorrow Now, SiP v. 15, Terry Moore

Katchoo finds success as an artist, tries to get over Francine, and deals with the Feds.

55) Molly and Poo, SiP v. 16, Terry Moore

A time-hopping tale of love and murder. Doesn't quite seem connected to the overall story, though one version of Molly went to school with Francine.

56) Peppermints in the Parlor, Barbara Brooks Wallace

A fun little kids' mystery, with a Plucky Orphan Girl, a Helpful Urchin Boy, Relatives In Peril, and more.

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Friday, May 13th, 2011
4:29 pm - books, recent and skipped accidentally
46) Faerie Winter, Janni Lee Simner

I think I finished this back before An Artificial Night, but I apparently never posted it. The sequel to Bones of Faerie. Start there, if you like post-apocalyptic coming-of-age stories. If you don't, give it a try anyway; they're good!

47) Late Eclipses, Seanan McGuire

4th Toby book. Still fun urban fantasy-mystery. You know she won't kill Toby because there's another book coming, or at least, if she does, Toby will get over it somehow, but there are rather a lot of close calls in this one.

48) Agatha H. and the Airship City, Phil and Kaja Foglio

Novelization of the first part of Girl Genius. Quite enjoyed it, A fun reminder of where and how it all began if you're a fan of the comic, and a good place to start if you don't like pictures with your stories, or just haven't gotten to it. (And why haven't you, since you can read it online now?)

49) Dead Reckoning, Charlaine Harris

The 11th Sookie book. If you like the series, you've probably already read it. If you don't like it, one less person at the signings. If you haven't tried them, start with book 1.

50) Bite Me!, Dylan Meconis

Vampires during the French Revolution. Very fun.

?.16) 1 Samuel

I'm probably still missing something, but I'm not sure what right now. (Duh. If I knew what, I'd include it!)

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Monday, May 2nd, 2011
12:08 pm
41) The Soddessey, Batton Lash

A Wolff and Byrd / Supernatural Law collection. Very amusing comic about the lawyers who represent the supernatural creatures -- so if Frankenstein's Monster wants to sue his creator for abandonment, or the Swamp Thing wants to sue the chemical company responsible for his transformation, these are the lawyers he calls. You can check it out online at http://www.supernaturallaw.com

42) Bayou v2, by Jeremy Love

A little girl in 1930s Louisiana is taking a journey through the mythology of her land to find her kidnapped best friend and save her father from lynching. Start with v. 1.

43-45) Salt Water Taffy v1-3, by Matthew Loux

The adventures of two brothers (ages 11 and 8) spending the summer in Maine. ALong with Ol' Angus the fisherman, they deal with various local creatures like Old Salty, the giant lobster queen of the sea and Barnabas, the giant hat-loving eagle. Technically, I haven't quite finished v3 yet, but they're quick, so I'm sure I will tonight, and I wanted to list them all together.

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Wednesday, April 27th, 2011
9:26 pm
39) The Age of Innocence, by Edith Wharton, via LibriVox

Maybe it's a case of not appreciating something because it's been imitated too much, but I found this rather dull and mostly predictable, though the ending was a bit different, Maybe I'm just burnt out on society dramas.

40) An Artificial Night, by Seanan McGuire

Yes, I only just found time to read it. Yes, it's been out for ages, and I've had it since it came out. Yes, I have book 4, and will probably read it Friday and Monday, while I do the next couple of rounds of the current med-fu. Anyway. The third book in the excellent Toby Daye urban fantasy series. If that's the sort of thing you like, start with book 1. If it's not the sort of thing you like, give book 1 (Rosemary and Rue) a try anyway; it's a really good series, and might be an exception. :)

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Wednesday, April 20th, 2011
1:49 pm
36) The Double Comfort Safari Club, Alexander McCall Smith

The next-most-recent installment in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series, which I hadn't gotten to yet.

37) The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party, Alexander McCall Smith

And the most-recent installment. If you've been reading them, you know you'll like them; if you haven't been, start at the beginning.

38) Tiassa, skzbrust

The latest Vlad Taltos book. I quite enjoyed it; we meet several old friends again. If you dislike Paarfi, or multiple narrative voices in one volume, you may not like it. If you don't know who Paarfi is, read the Khaavren romances; if you don't know who Vlad is, start at the beginning of the series -- and do go in published order; chronological isn't really possible anymore, as a couple of books jump around in time.

?.15 Ruth

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Friday, April 15th, 2011
1:10 pm
?.14 Judges

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Wednesday, April 13th, 2011
2:16 pm
?.12 Joshua

Last week, but I guess I forgot to post it.

?.13 Luke

Currently in the middle of Judges; I'd forgotten just how many of the most memorable stories are concentrated in this one book -- Gideon, Jael, Jephthah, Samson, and more.

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